Stylist Mecca James-Williams Takes Us on a Whirlwind Trip Through Jamaica’s Portland Parish

Stylist Mecca James-Williams Takes Us on a Whirlwind Trip Through Jamaica’s Portland Parish

When the pandemic hit, stylist Mecca James-Williams says she found herself “stuck in New York, trying to put the pieces of my life, career, and happiness together daily.” So shortly after Jamaica’s borders reopened last summer she quickly booked a flight to the island country that she’s grown to love and has frequently visited over the last half decade. “I knew it would be a risk to travel during a health crisis, but I planned every safety parameter possible and stayed in a secluded cabin with my best friends for a week,” she tells Vogue. “We cried, laughed, and enjoyed the solitude of being on the beach outside of our apartments.” And it was on this trip that it dawned on her: I want to move to Jamaica.

While James-Williams hopes to buy a home within the next couple of years, she has since continued flying back and forth to the island country, and knew it would serve as the perfect location for her birthday celebration. So this past August the stylist packed her bags—with tropical looks, curve-accentuating swimwear, Supergoop sunscreen, and a custom Bob Marley tee by Bandé—and brought along her family and closest friends. For the four-day extravaganza the stylist chose to stay at the boutique Geejam Hotel in Port Antonio, Jamaica. In each of the rooms she left her guests custom gift bags with all of her most cherished travel essentials, including a scarf that she collaborated on with SVNR, where a portion of the proceeds supports Winnifred, one of her favorite public beaches on the island.

The days to follow were filled with fun and adventure. By day, the group beach hopped while channeling their competitive side with games of uno and dominos; took a boat tour from the Blue Lagoon; rafted down the Rio Grande while taking in the lush environs; savored local fare like curry goat at Belinda’s Riverside Restaurant; and grooved to a blend of reggae, hip-hop, funk, and R&B at a pool party where the dress code called for “bright and bold” attire. By night, there were family-style dinners, sunset bonfires, plenty of dancing, and an epic birthday bash that ended with an impromptu jump into the pool. The best part of all, though? “Seeing my friends from different parts of my world connect over the beauty and culture of Jamaica,” says James-Williams.

My dress and scarf are a special collaboration with SVNR, where a portion of the proceeds supports one of my favorite public beaches, Winnifred.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

With my mother, sister, niece, and nephew.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

The view from Geejam’s pool.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

On the first night we had a family-style dinner at Soldier Camp where the feast included red pea soup, lobster, fish, and cheers with Red Stripe Sorrel.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

Outside Soldier Camp in my custom tee from Bandé, Frame shorts, Jacquemus earrings, and Dries Van Noten platforms.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

Bob Marley Soccer Vibrations T-shirt

Frame Le Cut-Off Tulip Hem shorts

Jacquemus Les Creoles Baguier earrings

Dries Van Noten white 60 platform leather sandals

This trip I really upped the ante with tropical looks to mirror the energy of Jamaica. I also made a point to wear swimwear that accentuated my natural curves and shoes that were comfortable.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

An array of sunglasses to match my outfits.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

Enjoying the sun on Winnifred Beach in a Louisa Ballou top and swimwear by Riot Swim and Monica Hansen Beachwear.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

Chimi 05 squared acetate sunglasses

Serendipitous Project Bahamas necklace

$350

SERENDIPITOUS PROJECT

Sophie Monet Jewelry petite bell hoops

On our second day we took a boat tour that started from the Blue Lagoon and ended at Winnifred Beach, with stops at Monkey Island and Dragon Bay along the way.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

Three of my closest friends at Frenchman’s Cove.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

Winnifred is my favorite public beach in Jamaica, and has such a local charm. We arrived and were greeted by a beautiful beach bonfire waiting to be lit at sunset.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

I wore a Dries van Noten skirt and thong sandals for this evening.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

Dries Van Noten Syvan skirt

Louisa Ballou sheer graphic-print T-shirt

Monica Hansen Beachwear Start Me Up twisted side ribbon bikini bottom

$110$50

MONICA HANSEN BEACHWEAR

Sies Marjan 90mm Diana croc-embossed leather sandals

We had dinner at Cynthia’s on Winnifred where we enjoyed Escovitch fish, chicken, breadfruit, and Jamaican festivals.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

Dancing by the bonfire under the stars.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

We got up bright and early to go to Trident Hotel for a 5- course breakfast meal including Ackee & Saltfish, Almond Porridge, and my favorite local fruits. Here I’m wearing a Louisa Ballou Swim top and bottom, a SVNR x MJW scarf, Amina Muaddi Lace-Up Shoes, and Area hoops.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

Isa Boulder Bowes drawstring recycled-fibre bikini top

Isa Boulder Bowes bikini briefs

Amina Muaddi AWGE x Amina Muaddi LSD Gladi sandals

After breakfast, we journeyed next door to Trident Castle and shot an editorial for my scarf collaboration.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

We enjoyed the polished ambience of this historic hotel, and made our way around the property, taking in all its beauty. 

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

Upon arriving back at Geejam, we got ready for my 28th Villa Party! Here I am arriving in a vintage dress I bought in Bermuda and Area jewels.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

Area large classic round hoops

Melissa Simone Yanis mini mesh dress

Gianvito Rossi 105 leather-trimmed fishnet pumps

Area crystal-embellished tiara

My birthday cake was a vanilla rum cake with buttercream frosting by a local baker named Mrs. Samtani.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

Friends enjoying some rum.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

On Sunday I threw a “Bright and Bold” pool party at GeeJam’s pool overlooking the ocean. 

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

Everyone showed up in bright fuschias, teals, and oranges. 

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

We drank Ten to One rum, a black-owned company, and danced to a mix of reggae, hip-hop, funk, and R&B music. Here, I’m wearing a Theophilio top, Miaou swimwear, and Roxanne Assoulin jewelry.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

Roxanne Assoulin convertible enamel and gold-tone body chain

Roxanne Assoulin Technicolor Rainbow necklace

For a private dinner overlooking the sea, I shimmered down in a gold Paco Rabanne skirt, white bodysuit, and gold accessories from Jimmy Choo and Jennifer Fischer.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

I wore a bedazzled Judith Leiber butterfly clutch in honor of my late grandmother, Melody. We had a champagne toast followed by an emotionally riveting speech, given by my mother. She told a story about how Jamaica became an integral part of our lives while I continue the legacy.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

Paco Rabanne paillette-embellished fitted skirt

Yummie Ruby scoop neck thong bodysuit

Judith Leiber Couture Mariposa cystal butterfly clutch bag

Jennifer Fisher large essential gold-plated choker

Jimmy Choo Thyra 100 nude suede sandals with pavé crystal cord detail

Traveling is a humbling experience that connects you to the core of who you are, as well as finding the connection between you and new people. It’s the ultimate healing remedy.

Photo: Courtesy of Destinee Condison

Jacquemus yellow Summer 21-print La Chemise Henri shirt

Nanushka Tazu vegan leather knee-length shorts
Black

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